A study protocol for live and deceased donor uterus transplantation as a treatment for women with uterine factor infertility

Jana Pittman*, Matts Brannstrom, Neill Keily, Brigitte Gerstl, Elena Cavazzoni, Henry Plaess, Mianna Lotz, Natasha Rogers, Germaine Wong, Wayne Hseuh, Ashraf Hanafy, Jason Abbott, Rebecca Deans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim: Uterus transplantation (UTx) is an emerging treatment option for women with uterine factor infertility (UFI) or the absence of a functional uterus. This is the study protocol for the first human UTx clinical trial in Australia. Materials and Methods: This protocol outlines the approved training program used to plan, diagnose, screen, and treat patients who may be eligible for UTx using living and deceased donors. This multi-site clinical research study includes three tertiary hospital sites within New South Wales (NSW), Australia – Prince of Wales, Royal Hospital for Women and Westmead Hospitals. Our UTx protocol is based on that used by our collaborative partner, the inaugural UTx team in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Swedish UTx team provides ongoing preceptorship for the Australian UTx team. Ethics approval for six UTx procedures using living or deceased donors (Western Sydney Local Health District Human Research Ethics Committee: 2019/ETH138038) was granted in 2020. Results: Results from surgeries and live births will be published. Data will be prospectively entered into the registry of the International Society of Uterus Transplantation (ISUTx), a sub-section of The Transplantation Society (TTS). Trial Id: ACTRN12622000917730. Discussion: A multidisciplinary research team has been formed between three tertiary hospitals in Sydney – The Royal Hospital for Women, Prince of Wales and Westmead Hospitals; and with the Swedish UTx, University of Gothenburg. The Swedish team pioneered animal and human UTx studies since 1998, including publishing the first live birth after UTx. (1) This Australian trial commenced in January 2023. Conclusion: Uterus transplantation gives women with UFI the opportunity to be gestational and genetic mothers. It is a complex procedure for both the donor and recipient, with medical and surgical risks. An extensive multidisciplinary approach is required to optimise patient safety and graft outcomes. This protocol outlines our Australian UTx team strategy for screening, recruitment, surgical approach, and clinical management of UTx recipients and donors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Early online date28 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • absolute uterine infertility
  • infertility
  • organ donation
  • uterus transplant

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